During my first editing job, I got called out by a senior editor because of my confusion with since and because.
woops, I meant my confusion between since and because…
I was editing a gardening website recently, and really got a headache over which and that. Hopefully I use the words correctly in speech.
Which and That
This is one of the most common mistakes out there, and understandably so. “That” is a restrictive pronoun. It’s vital to the noun to which it’s referring. e.g., I don’t trust fruits and vegetables that aren’t organic. Here, I’m referring to all non-organic fruits or vegetables. In other words, I only trust fruits and vegetables that are organic. “Which” introduces a relative clause. It allows qualifiers that may not be essential. e.g., I recommend you eat only organic fruits and vegetables, which are available in area grocery stores. In this case, you don’t have to go to a specific grocery store to obtain organic fruits and vegetables. “Which” qualifies, “that” restricts. “Which” is more ambiguous however, and by virtue of its meaning is flexible enough to be used in many restrictive clauses. e.g., The house, which is burning, is mine. e.g., The house that is burning is mine.
Here’s a good example - no idea if this is good American English (because American English is weird - desperate to save letters but adding words all over the place), but it’s certainly not good standard English.
And sometimes, I have noticed, their English is more correct than many native English speakers’ English.
My half-sister grew up in Poland and Germany. When she came to this country, so many people knew she was from another country. She asked one person how he knew: He replied “Because your English is too perfect, not sloppy like the rest of us in the US!”
Europe has serious English instruction. And, she came here at eight years of age so subsequently lost all accent. I think I have heard if you learn a language before the age of 14 you become truly bilingual?
I’m seriously getting into this post…
I had a friend who studied German in high school. After graduating he decided to go there and tour the country. He was out walking one day when he came across a local. He tried to ask him a few questions in German, and the guy finally asked him, “do you speak English?”, in a perfectly fluent accent.
That sounds so pleasant and positive.
I’m trying to understand what the hell this thread is trying to achieve other than for you to list the things which annoy you terribly.
Though you shamed your sister? Interesting.
Couldn’t agree more. I’m sure there are people here who’s intelligence would shit over mine, and vice versa in certain topics Our intelligence cannot be measured by our lack of spelling, and when it EFFECTS you so much, perhaps that is more your issue than theirs.
This is what I learned in my ESL/EFL teacher training:
If you learn a language by age 10, you will probably have native speaker proficiency in vocabulary/grammar as well as accent. If you learn a language after age 18, you will probably never have native speaker proficiency in vocabulary/grammar or in accent.
If you learn it somewhere between age 10 and age 18, you are somewhat likely to have native-like vocabulary/grammar, but less likely to have a native-like accent.
So if I meet someone who speaks English very fluently, but has a slight foreign accent, usually I assume they came to Canada as a teenager. And I’m usually right.
Of course there are many exceptions.
Saul’s son has been here two years. I had to take the laboring oar on the Spanish (both with father and son). Kevin does understand English but is hesitant to speak. (Cat, get the f off the keyboard.) Kevin has a new girlfriend from the Dominican Republic. She has been here two years as well. Totally bilingual. I asked her about it - I asked if they learned much English in school. She said, no, but went on to explain that Gringos speak so slowly it is like an English lesson. She admitted that my step-son was hesitant to speak because he thought he would be laughed at. We have to get over that. The mobile home park I manage is 90% Latino. Five years ago, I was hesitant to say “Hola.” Now, I chatter on in Spanglish, and it admittedly takes some people a few weeks to catch on. It just takes time, and the will. I will work more with Kevin in English.
I’ve got fur in my mouth.
Especially if you’re in the South!
I thought you said your part of Texas wasn’t in the South, it was in its own dimension
This thread is getting pretty loose.
I just love these debates about the English language vs. the American language.
But before too long we’ll all be writing and speaking “textese” if our kids have anything to tap out about it.